Best Practices for Making a Wagtail Site as Accessible as Possible

Oct 18 1:20 PM EDT :calendar: to 2:05 pm

About This Talk

Over the past few years, the Wagtail CMS core team and accessibility subteam have made a significant commitment to improving Wagtail’s accessibility – of the CMS interface itself as well as the websites that it produces. This talk is focused on the latter, showing how you (a developer of a Wagtail-powered site) can set up your models, templates, and workflows in order to make it as easy as possible for your editors to create websites that are as accessible as possible. I say “as possible” because it’s important to recognize that it’s not possible for a website to ever be considered 100% accessible, but by putting some care into what we do on the development side, we can prevent some of the most widespread accessibility issues that users may come across.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • How to use Wagtail’s new built-in accessibility checker
  • Custom validation to ensure that a page has a logical heading order
  • Ensuring alt text is used appropriately (Spoiler alert: every image doesn’t need alt text!)
  • Usage of aria-label attributes to provide essential context to screen readers
  • Providing timely, contextual help to editors as they create their content


    Photo of Scott Cranfill

    Scott Cranfill (he/him)

    Scott is currently a full-stack web developer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where his team uses Django to power the main JPL website, the JPL Space intranet, and a large number of other internal websites. He’s also a member of the core team for Wagtail, the CMS used on all of the above JPL sites, and is also a part of its accessibility subteam.

    Prior to coming to JPL, Scott was part of the inaugural class of Design & Technology Fellows at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where Django powered the CFPB’s first open source repo, released in 2012, and Wagtail was chosen for rebuilding in 2015.